Dear Human | Babar | Kamfgrounds (Bee's Fifth Collective located at 306 Texas St. in Denton) You think there would be only one band called "Babar" on Myspace...
Digital Leather | Thomas Function | Yussuf Jerusalem | Leg Sweeper (The Lounge) Digital Leather has softened their sound quite a bit, and it's definitely not what you could honestly describe as synth-punk at this point, but will still appeal to most people who buy records on Goner, who honestly put out some of the coolest records I can play for my parents. I liked the impossibly catchy Thomas Function when I saw them at 715 a while back, though I was criticized for missing part of the set to play basketball by someone in the comments section. Look, mind your own business when you see daddy working.
The Pogues | Justin Townes Earle (House Of Blues) Obviously a big show, especially to those on the grayer end of the demographic spectrum. Their cover of "Dirty Old Town" is a heart-breaker.
Ourselves | Melting Season | Sunnybrook (J&J's Pizza) So many side-projects and renamed old projects make describing this event rather confusing, but here's the summary: There is a Mom EP from 2005 that Gutterth Records is re-releasing, but the same EP is now called "Ourselves" instead of Mom. This limited edition disc has a 100 copy run, and that's it.
Butthole Surfers | Peaches | Men (Granada) One of the rare instances where I think the performers' behavior could collectively be as bad or worse as what will surely be an excited audience that is absolutely anxious to willfully lose control. That's not a knock at all, as I'm sure this will be something to see as well as hear, and you have to respect the fact that probably the only people on stage under the age of 40 will be the members of Men, an Brooklyn-based art/performance collective that features JD Samson of Le Tigre. Wish I had known that they were on the bill yesterday, as that certainly would have been worth mentioning in the giveaway description.
Baring Teeth | Great Tyrant | Silk Stocking | Lychgate (Chat Room Pub) Baring Teeth features Andrew Hawkins from the now defunct, Man Is Mostly Water, and the technical aspects of their tracks reach bizarre levels of virtuosity. The group is at its best when it locks into a hypnotically repetitive clip and I especially liked the instrumental Youtube video on their page. Lychgate has just returned from what was, by scattered accounts, a successful US tour, and as such will most likely be demonstrating even more of their newly found dynamic prowess that is heightened even more after having been on the road. All in all, an appropriately dark lineup, but remember just because something is "noisy," doesn't necessarily mean it's "scary," amateur hour.
BC Tha Dinosaur | Big Fiction | Sans Soleil (Rubber Gloves) Big Fiction's online recordings don't do justice to their live set; a ferocious mixture of Duane Denison pulloff heroics which eventually gives way to a more traditional yet raging hardcore sound.
Kurt Vile And The Violators | The Aquaholics | Giggle Party (The Lounge) Neon Indian | White Denim (Granada) Has anyone heard this band? I wonder if you can fill me in. I noticed they are playing a free show, so maybe it's hard to get people to come see them? What's going on here, exactly? Can't find many details online. Hmm. Maybe I should do a Tweet search. I know who White Denim is, they're a pretty hip act from Austin, but what is this group? Is it a DJ? I think I heard some people getting mad that other people liked them or something, that's weird. Isn't it a good thing when people like something? Oh, it's not? Ok so the live band consists of, let's see, where's the local angle? There's a guy from Ghosthustler, someone from The Gazelles, everyone from Vega, the girl from Fight Bite and Christian! Teenage Runaway. Pretty local, sounds good. As you guys know, I love local music. Oh, wait, C!TR?! That was the band that couldn't play their instruments right? Isn't that what the internet said? Shit. And hold on, wasn't Vega not as good as Ghosthustler or something, because Ghosthustler was like truly from Denton, but Vega moved to Austin, and that's like, hipster shit and we can't really claim it up here anymore, right? But when something is local, isn't it like, ALWAYS kind of local FOREVER, just a little bit? Like when you love someone, aren't they always, you know, kind of yours forever, in a little bitty tiny way? No? It doesn't work like that? Not even with St. Vincent? Not even with Neon Indian? Shit. Guess I had better RSVP to this show. I thought if you had a Denton driver's license, you could walk right in. Bye, Neon Indian. Don't forget to write.
As just a small beginning to our ongoing project of expanding We Shot JR's coverage past our geographic borders and into new places, we decided to do something that we normally don't do around here-- interview a band or artist who is NOT coming to North Texas any time soon (you'll see a lot more of this in the near future).
For the past year and a half or so, I've been spending a significant amount of down time enjoying the music of Cameron Stallones, the lead guitarist of Not Not Fun group Magic Lantern and the sole force behind one man project Sun Araw. Sun Araw's hazy, psychedelic collages touch on such a wide variety of sounds and influences that attempting to list them in any comprehensive way would be nearly pointless, but Stallones' loop based compositions are certainly a hypnotic journey well worth taking for oneself, blending classic psychedelic rock with afrobeat, funk, krautrock, early electronic, ambient, and a heavy dose of Stallones' own unique vision that renders any of the aforementioned influences fleeting and often transformed into something entirely new all together. This approach results in some of the most compelling, provocative and enjoyable psychedelic pieces you'll hear coming out of just about anywhere these days, radiating with a warmth and attention to detail that's difficult to find in the vast sea of contemporary tape label psyche rock.
After reading an interview with Stallones in the most recent edition of Wire, I decided to contact the man behind Sun Araw and ask him a few questions via email. Here is what we discussed:
Although I suppose I could be wrong, I'm guessing that you didn't start off as a teenager listening to many things that sound anything remotely close to the kind of music you make today. Could you tell us a bit about your musical background-- some of the music that really inspired you early in your life and any bands/musical projects that you participated in early on?
Once I got into music in a serious way, I did the typical record store geek-out, just following the energy through anything and everything. It was pretty idyllic, chasing these tones that I never knew existed through so many genres and esoteric pockets. Got really into 60’s soul music and pre-rock for a long time, the whole paisley underground scene, hip-hop, krautrock, etc. Didn’t have any successful bands really, though William and I tried to form a band that was conceptually the Beat Happening as a Nuggets-band, only doing inept, primal soul covers with two guitars and drums. I’m still into the idea of that, but let’s just say it wasn’t executed well. Someone should do that.
And what were some of the influences that brought you closer to the more abstract, psychedelic kinds of things that interest you musically today?
I discovered Can, Ash Ra Tempel, kraut and kosmiche vibes fairly early in my record store geek-outs, but it wasn’t quite harvest time, that all had to gestate for a few years. 80’s psych like Spacemen 3 (who we all worship) and Loop went a long way towards the formation of Magic Lantern, and later Sun Araw, but I think the real catalyst was hearing Parson Sound. It’s just a mind-flaying slab that manages to condense psychedelic rock to its most primal elements while also (even preternaturally) synthesizing all its disparate experiments into one pure and molten whole. The monolithic first-fruits of crossbreeding Terry Riley's "In C" with the Velvet Underground's most spaced moments.
Could you tell us about a few of your favorite guitar players and how they might influence the way you play?
Daniel Fichelscher completely freaks me out, doesn't sound like anyone else, but his licks resonate deep inside memory zones. Melodic simplicity that is so completely on point, it's traditional music of some unknown hybrid country. Oghene Kologbo, of course. Also, Jason Martin. He fronted/fronts a long-running 90's brit-pop/shoegaze band called Starflyer 59. Their early records blew my tender mind. Neil Young's electric jams are just too too ridiculous: shambling, saturated rays. Manuel Gottsching’s cosmic waves too. I could go on for a while. Totally mesmerized by all that stuff, and imitate each in some malformed way.
On a very basic level, what is it you hope to accomplish whenever you record or play live as Sun Araw?
For myself I hope to establish some moment of spiritual connection, to exist and manipulate objects on a different plane for some minutes or more. That sounds grandiose, but that's really what interests me in other people's music and it’s the sort of kicks I want to extract from my own.
Can you describe your live set up for us? Is it difficult for you to create the same audible atmosphere found on your records in a live setting?
It can be a challenge, certainly. I’m content to let the live thing be a different thing, of a different order: the order of moving to a groove. But it’s necessarily stripped down. Usually it's me on guitar and vocals and tape loops, my Lantern-mate William on organ and occasional guitar. Recently though, in preparation for some upcoming tours, I've been practicing performing completely solo. Got some more robust gear that’s helping out with that, though I always prefer to have a brother/sister to voyage with if I can.
In previous interviews I've read with you, I've enjoyed the way you discuss direct influences on particular albums or songs you've made, such as how Beach Head was a "tribute" to or loosely influenced by Neil Young's Zuma. It seems like a lot of artists tend to shy away from such influence spotting for a variety of reasons. Do you think you can do this more freely because none of your music really sounds much like what influenced or inspired it? Could musicians in general be a little more honest as far as what they borrow and what inspires certain things they do musically?
For me influences are the physical pieces laid over the non-physical structure. I don't mind copping to 'em, because I feel my music is never an attempt to recreate the structure of their music, just maybe some tones here and there. Most musicians seem pretty chill with discussing influences, though when they aren’t it’s probably because everyone knows what’s really going on, in the worst way.
It seems like there is a much larger audience for the kind of music you make these days than there has ever been before, and of course, the most obvious cause one could cite would be the internet and the incredible accessibility to music that it provides. However, is something else at work here? Is there something else about American and European audiences, at this time and place in history, that seems to promote an openness towards the kind of repetitive, loosely structured music you produce?
Well, it’s hard to say. I would consider my music, and most contemporary psychedelia as being spiritual in nature, in that it isn’t engaging your mind or emotions the way traditional songwriting does, but through some attempt at transcendence through repetition, improvisation, texture, etc. I think most tuned-in people are sensing some intense forces, technological mostly, that are emerging and fundamentally re-ordering our existence. It tends to brutalize your soul, but I think those that are staying alert, making sure to crest the wave, are already stoked about the ways they have found to re-order those energies for their benefit and the furthering of psychedelic and tuned-in living. Even for those who aren’t aware of the intense manipulation of their consciousness, there is an unconscious move towards esoteric and spiritual thinking, definitely a renewed interest in higher consciousness and spirituality, and probably in general paranoia. That’s the dark side of it. On the whole, I try to see it as a really positive and necessary move. Dreams are important because they give us practice in inhabiting a world of pure concept, divorced from physical perception, which is definitely the direction the world is being pushed (for better or worse). So I guess we should suit up, figure out how to live healthy in those circumstances so we don’t go all Schwarzenegger at the beginning of Total Recall, eyes buggin’ out. I find that making and listening to this sort of music definitely helps.
Can you tell us a little bit about the community surrounding Not Not Fun and what it's been like to work with those people?
Deep family. Britt and Manda keep us all inspired with non-stop shenanigans, and endless band starting. I respect them more than I think they know: they conceive a reality they want to exist in, and they simply create it. It’s a skill we all need to hone. They come correct, it’s rare but obvious that there isn’t even a trace of nonsense in their label operations, it’s pure love start to finish. And the extended crew here in LA just gets doper and more surreal, I’ve never felt so surrounded by talented buds.
Do you enjoy listening to the harsher noise and drone and black metal and the like? To me, a lot of that stuff has psychedelic elements that are similar in a very basic way to some of the stuff you do with your various projects, but much of it obviously comes from quite a different place and provokes and responds to different things. Where does this kind of music fit in relation to what you do?
I do. I mean, I’m definitely more interested in noise that can be classified in some way as psychedelic, and a lot of it is. There is a side of the scene that’s almost entirely based around modes of masculine aggression and that doesn’t really appeal to me when it’s the end-all, though it can be a sick element in something that’s aiming higher. But even some of the harshest jams can be truly mind-expanding. With metal, I’m just a tourist, woefully ignorant. I love early Sabbath, and obviously heavily psychedelic stuff like Sleep, Om, or experimental stuff like Orthrelm. I haven’t dug too deep into the stuff in the middle. It usually just gets my attention when it’s coming from a certain vantage point that I can relate to.
Can you walk us through the process of how you create a Sun Araw track? From the inception of the idea to the final version coming together, I'm curious about the process you undergo to bring these sounds about.
I try to really drop-in/drop-out for a good chunk of time, wade through whatever tones are hanging around in the air. After listening back, usually something asserts itself and that gets edited out, becomes the skeleton of a new jam. Then I attempt to build that single point into a resonant field. Sometimes it happens very quickly, other times it can be more of a struggle, but for me it has to start from a point of allowing yourself to be flooded in a self-less zone, then basking in the glow for a while. Next comes speaking the word, and then you offer the fruit in thanksgiving. This is what Heavy Deeds was all about for me. Once I enter a zone that I feel has particularly fruitful energy, I try to map it for myself so I can find my way back easily. I’m giving very personal signifiers, creating an iconography that has an internal logic that I can follow. So after I had finished all the music on Heavy Deeds I had been dwelling in those jams for enough time to begin to visualize the peaks and valleys of that dimension, and assign meaningful visual cues to them. The Wonder/Diddley/Cherry triad represented on the album map the particular aspects of that universe that relate to those three stages of creative activity.
Obviously, much of what you're trying to convey and communicate with Sun Araw isn't all that direct or straight forward in message, i.e. Minor Threat's Straight Edge or something like that. Do you feel like you would have anything worth saying or communicating via a more structured, traditional pop music format?
Well, I just don't find that traditional pop music really offers to me what it is I want to get out of writing and performing, no glowing doorways in there. I love traditionally structured music and listen to tons of it, it’s by no means a value judgment. The psychedelic zone that I put myself and Magic Lantern in, it's just a different sort of music with different goals and tools, structured around Eastern or Minimalist ideas, more about texture than narrative. It’s also functional in nature, trying to push your mind into particular spaces. I want the music to be hard workin’.
How has Long Beach and Los Angeles helped shape your music, and how different do you think Sun Araw might be if you were based in say, Brooklyn, rather than the west coast?
Los Angeles is a deeply psychedelic city. It’s a post-everything environment. A huge number of people here take part, in one way or another, in the creation of non-physical spaces, maybe through art or the film industry or just by movement through and habitation of the zany architectures that have been constructed in that quest. I think the early film industry here unlocked some wild energy, and because the landscape and culture here was so malleable (unlike France or other places in Europe where early film erupted) the imaginary spaces that were created and the exaltation of image had a profound effect on the physical spaces of LA. I moved here for college from Austin, Texas, which is a much more directly benevolent environment, and I really hated LA for the first few years, because it lacks that overtly benevolent energy. Also because I just really didn’t understand it. But since then it’s revealed itself to me and I’ve come to love it, it’s a city that you have to have a complicated relationship with. There is so much vibrant, positive energy that’s mixed with truly hostile and negative energy, but the longer you stay, the better you get at tuning out the problem frequencies and amplifying the constructive ones. The amount of personally and communally constructed vibes and dimensions here are overwhelming once you start to see them, there’s a deep tradition and encouragement of the physical realization of mind. The music I make is an attempt on my part to continue that tradition (probably with different goals in mind) to move a camera in deep focus through other spaces and other levels of energy.
What are some of the other projects you are working on and what are your immediate plans for Sun Araw as far as touring and recording new material?
Well we just finished up the new Magic Lantern LP, which should be out soon. I also just finished the new Sun Araw full-length, a double LP called On Patrol. Actually I just finalized the last mixes an hour or so ago. That will be out early next year. I’ll be touring up the West Coast with James Ferraro and Infinity Window and Wingdings in January, so stoked about that, true alien lanes. There’s also plans on the books for a Pocahaunted/Sun Araw US tour in March and a Sun Araw tour of Australia and New Zealand in September 2010. Trying to come correct, you know.
I realize that EVERYTHING this week is Halloween themed, but I couldn't resist this one.
"Demon Angel" - A Day and Night with Roky Erickson is, of all things, a Swedish tv documentary featuring an interview with Roky Erickson from May of 1984 and a live performance filmed Halloween night of the same year, apparently at an underground creek in Austin.
Roky Erickson's mental condition over the last 40 years has been well documented, so I'll spare the background info. Most are aware of the kind of shape this guy was in at the time, and it shouldn't be too surprising that the interview covers a wide range of topics such as demons, the devil, Bob Dylan, screaming, and Ronald Reagan. Maybe that's not a WIDE range of topics.
Anyway, the live performance features a solo Roky, though Mike Alvarez frequently accompanies on guitar. The set is pretty heavy on sloppily compelling and intimate versions of several of Erickson's solo "classics" such as 'Bloody Hammer,' 'White Faces,' and 'Cold Night for Alligators.' The duo also performs the ubiquitous 'You're Gonna Miss Me,' as well as a fantastic version of the Elevators' 'Splash 1.'
Fans of this film would do themselves right to find 'Meeting with an Alien,' a public access tv documentary very similar to this one from 1980, though instead of a solo performance Roky has a backing band.
I have to make this quick, but some thoughts off the top of my head:
1. I can't believe the Stern BrothersandJello Biafra are both going to be performing in Deep Ellum tonight, just down the street from each other. Watching the Sterns in 1983's Another State Of Mind face the crushing impact that reality has on young idealism is one of my all-time favorite moments in any documentary. Biafra's backing band sounds fairly similar to late period Dead Kennedy's, when they were more riff-oriented and less thrashy.
2. Halloween cover shows are usually horrible but always fun.
3. I'm sure it's not easy being George Harrison's son, so I'm just going to pass on talking about the Wolmother show's lineup, however I should mention that Wolfmother is playing at a Best Buy in the lovely town of Farmer's Branch right now. Which aspect of this sucks the most? Aren't partially owned by major label subsidiaries awesome?
4. Everyone loves R. Kelly.
5. Leon Russell wrote "Superstar" made extremely famous by The Carpenters. "Superstar," man.
6. I wish Dallas Cinemania had more screenings.
Dead Ramones (Subhumans)/Fakeshrine (Crimpshrine) | Ippur (Buzzcocks)/Genius Party (The Queers)/Teenagers From Mars (Misfits) (1919 Hemphill)
The Granada Theater was kind enough to give us two pairs of tickets to tomorrow's anticipated showdown between two of the biggest live spectacles in all of popular music, The Butthole SurfersandPeaches. Either one of these acts would be more than enough to lead us into Halloween weekend, but be one of the first people to send an email to email@example.com and you can see them both.
Sorry to be even more of a dork, but the flyer for this show claims that the title Body Text = "gender" has something to do with html. Why couldn't someone on this project ask one of the four hundred billion people who write html if that makes any sense? How about:
<body>gender</body> or document.body.innerHTML = "gender";
Geez retards, get your act together.
Break It, Don't Fake It Harmony Padgett Molly Murphy mighty fine arts 419 North Tyler, Dallas, TX 75208 October 31 : 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Image not really courtesy of the Estate of Henri Rousseau.
Islands | Jemina Pearl | Toro Y Moi (Rubber Gloves) Wow, these guys are still around? I enjoyed The Unicorns' one and only album, but figured the breaking up and then reformation as current entity Island, would be the kiss-of-death for these Canadians. I was pleasantly surprised to see the new incarnation sticking close to the original band's sound, with just a bit more streamlining for the Islands' debut. Islands never had much to make the group really stand out from that wave of cynical indie-pop that came out in the early 2000's, but they are still kicking so you've got to give them some credit there. The music is enjoyable, but doesn't have much substance, although it is certainly better than Arcade Fire. Other Canadian comparisons not withstanding, there isn't much there in the recorded material to keep you coming back.
More by happenstance rather than choice, I have seen both incarnations of this band live and enjoyed both more than I or my respective dates, thought we would. The homogenized sound that the band can easily be faltered for doesn't effect the live performance. They work well as a live band; very tight, and nice enthusiasm from the diverse make-up of instrumentation. If you are bummed that Neutral Milk Hotel haven't released a new album in the past ten years or are still pissed off at Of Montreal for selling out to Outback Steakhouse, I recommend you check out the show, you might dig it. (FP)
So, former Be Your Own Pet front-woman, Jemina Pearl, has started a solo career, and at her best, she sounds like an overlooked side-project that would be on Kill Rock Stars twelve years ago, and the record is aptly on Ecstatic Peace, which is entirely suitable, except for the fact that it makes her label-mates with Richard Ramirez. If this was being released as some sort of weird tween-pop parody put out by what is predominantly a noise label, that might make it more interesting, but that's not the case. The track she does with Iggy Pop ("I Hate People") isn't as bad one would expect, and the rest of the tracks would benefit if that approach were more prevalent. That particular song's composition and melody almost have Pearl potentially moving away from Be Your Own Pet's sound, and reinventing herself with the sophisticated style of a younger Holly Golightly, but unfortunately it's the exception here. (DL)
Old Snack | DJ Dirty Cha Cha (The Cavern) Old Snack is the only actual band listed, and I'm worried about this show since they only have seven songs. In situations like this, it is essential to have a body of work that can be easily split up into two long sets with an intermission. I remember seeing shows like that at The Cavern, before it was "cool." Everyone hates shows like that, by the way. Your co-workers had no idea what they were getting themselves into.(DL)
Zaireeka 12th Anniversary Party (Good Records) This is an actual Halloween Party with a costume contest and everything, and I'm pretty sure I'll be more than sick of writing about Halloween-themed shows by the end of the week. This holiday has seriously gotten worse and worse over the years, making Fall even more seasonally bloated and drawn out than the original offender, Christmas; there are parties for about three weeks solid, exploiting Dia De Los Muertos into becoming some shitty Halloween Hangover Day (Parts One and Two), and to top it all off, some clubs have the nerve to charge thirty bucks to watch a shitty local band, or even worse non-local band as if it were New Years Eve. Thanks a lot, Joe Businessman, but I really appreciate free shows on Halloween or not milking these rowdy drunks for all they're worth; they'll be in enough trouble as it is. Candy Corn is shit and should just be there on the table when I walk into a club, I shouldn't have to pay over twenty bucks for the "privilege."
Back on topic, this little event is one of the free ones, with free drinks for those who are of responsible drinking age. Though I have rolled my eyes in at least two different countries upon being invited to a "Zaireeka Party," the music is pretty good actually, and I'm sure some people would be surprised that I would say that. I prefer the b-side tracks where the songs, such as "Thirty Five Thousand Feet Of Despair," have already been combined, because I'm lazy and I dare you to find five fucking cd players in any one house now-a-days, or even one for that matter.
Sea Wolf | Port O'Brian | Sara Lov (The Cavern) Just about all I can say about this show is that Sea Wolf is better than Silversun Pickups, and also that the vaguely nautical themes on both Sea Wolf's and Port O'Brian's music pages are really...aesthetically grating. Are you trying to sell me tartar sauce, get me to buy an abandoned lighthouse on Hyannis Port, or convince me that Neil Young and Bright Eyes or Will Oldham and Pavement aren't all that different from each other? Come on, which is it sea-hipsters? I'm waiting.
Why? | Serengeti and Polyphonic | Au (Hailey's) Most people I know that want to go to this show have really been talking up Serengeti, who, with the video above, rekindled my love for Chicago, America, and "Ruffles, Ruffles, Ruffles, Ruffles..." I wish I knew where that beautifully dramatic string sample is from, and I'm sure some Hip Hop "scholar" or purist can tell me. This is an open request. Let me know. Most of the other Serengeti songs I have heard are more along the lines of thoughtful indie hip hop that I'm not so big on, but I think Serengeti's delivery, range, personality, and approach is superior to most of his better-known contemporaries.
Mayhem Mondays (Fallout Lounge) It turns out that this event is still happening, Stefan Gonzalez just won't be spinning records for a short while. That duty will apparently be handled by Mayhem Mondays founder, Alex Moreno, AKA DJ Meco Seco.
MON: WHY?/Serengeti & Polyphonic/Au (Hailey's) TUE: Zaireeka 12th Anniversary Party (Good Records) WED: Islands/Jemina Pearl/Toro Y Moi (Rubber Gloves) WED: Old Snack/DJ Dirty Cha Cha (Doublewide) WED: Sarah Jaffe/Matthew And The Arrogant Sea (Dan's Silver Leaf) WED: The Ish with Killtron/Yeah Def/Blake Ward (Ghostbar) THU: Dead Ramones (Subhumans)/Fakeshrine (Crimpshrine)/Ippur (Buzzcocks)/Genius Party (The Queers)/Teenagers From Mars (Misfits) (1919 Hemphill) THU: R. Kelly/Pleasure P/K Michelle (Nokia) THU: Youth Brigade/The Broadsiders/The Lashouts/Uptown Bums (The Lounge) THU: Sabra Laval/John Taylor Young/Isaac Hoskins (All Good Cafe) THU: Wolfmother/The Heartless Bastards/thenewno2 (House Of Blues) THU: Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School Of Medicine/Here Holy Spain (The Door) THU: Leon Russell/Don And Melissa (Dan's Silver Leaf) THU: Screening: Dario Argento's Deep Red (The Angelika Dallas) Note: One time showing at 9 PM. Presented By Dallas Cinemania. FRI: Digital Leather/Thomas Function/Yussuf Jerusalem/Leg Sweeper (The Lounge) FRI: The Pogues/Justin Townes Earle (House Of Blues) FRI: Ourselves/Melting Season/Sunnybrook (J&J's Pizza) FRI: N'Dambi (Clarence Muse Cafe Theater) FRI: Butthole Surfers/Peaches/Men (Granada) FRI: Bloodfest with Tolar/Kill The Client/Embolization/Uptown Bums/Powertrip/Negaduck/The Scandals/Life Erased/Unit 21 (Phoenix Project) SAT: Baring Teeth/Great Tyrant/Silk Stocking/Lychgate (Chat Room Pub) SAT: SAS/Broken Teeth/Sound Clash Present: Select/Schwa/Vice Versa/Keith P (Zubar) SAT: The Ishi's/Wild In The Streets (Double Wide) SAT: Ghostland Observatory (Palladium) SAT: Matthew And The Arrogant Sea/Yeah Def/DJ B/Lil Foot (Hailey's) SAT: Kurt Vile And The Violators/The Aquaholics/Giggle Party (The Lounge) SAT: Neon Indian/White Denim (Granada)
Denton VS Dallas: DJ G | Yeah Def | OPS | Teamwork VS Sober | Killtron | Genova | Tommy L33 Jon3s (Hailey's) Man, I'm always up for a good "Dallas VS Denton" debate. Nothing more mature than that. Anyways, this is a good idea, and though I'd like to see the same concept executed with live bands, well, I actually wouldn't, since that's a little more lop-sided of a contest, unfortunately.(DL)
Black Friday with Keith P (Fallout Lounge) Anthony Stanford will be also be performing.
The Naptime Shake | Glen Farris (Bryan Street Tavern): Busy weekend for The Naptime Shake, as they will be playing multiple shows promoting their new release, Blood And Panic.
No Thanks Fest 3: Ecocide | | Cleric | Vorvadoss | Chest Pain | Creeping Jeans (Ex members of Pools) | Violent Messiah | Skurge | Stull | Releaser | Life Erased | Rotundus | Baring Teeth | Coin Return | Serows | Doom Siren | Geezus Krust ((Emory Texas: From Dallas- 30 East To Greenville, TX, 69 South To Emory, Right On 19 South (1 Mile), Right At The No Thanks Sign, Follow Signs To Parking. Call (214)287-2510 for more info): It's pretty remarkable that the No Thanks Fest is in its third year. I was skeptical about people showing up to this when I heard about the first one, but that's the thing about punk, metal, and hardcore fans: they're dedicated. Nobody's bitching about the drink specials or parking here; instead you have avid supporters willing to drive to the middle of nowhere and set up camp to watch mostly local bands play.
One of the non-local groups actually has DFW members that are now based in Austin, so this is the closest they have come to playing the Metroplex. Power violence act, Chest Pain, features members of Angry Businessmen and various other hardcore acts that have long broken-up. They recently got a great write-up on the Terminal Escape tape blog, which included a review of a live appearance from the group's recent West Coast tour, as well as a download link to their cassette at the end of the post. If you check out the comments section, you can also download the group's side of the split 7-inch they did with fellow Austinites, Naw Dude.
Note: This lineup changed significantly since the show was first announced, but I believe this is accurate or close to it. Geezus Krust was added pretty late as openers. Bring necessities, camping equipment, and donations. Free food provided by The Phoenix Project. Festival starts at 8 PM. (DL)
SATURDAY Phillip Glass Ensemble: Dracula Live (Margot And Bill Winspear Opera House, located at 2403 Flora Street in Dallas): There is at least one good Halloween show put on by the "patron set" every year, and this looks to be the one to beat in 2009. Can you believe Phil Glass is about to be seventy three? (DL)
Lo Fi Chorus | Naptime Shake (Lee Harvey's) This is an early afternoon show, with Naptime Shake going on at 4 PM. This "Dog Day Afternoon" benefit is fifteen dollars, which will get you two free drinks and entry to see the show, however the money goes to the Humane Society of Dallas County.(DL)
Kinky Friedman (The Ranch at Las Colinas located at 857 West Highway 114 in Irving)
Red Faced Laughter | Eat Avery's Bones | Fuck Facts | The Numerators (Majestic Dwelling Of Doom) A lineup that seems right out of the Secret Headquarters Calendar circa 2007, and that's not a knock on any aspect of this show. Glad to see Lubbock's Numerators getting some attention from Fader, of all places, as I had mentioned recently, and though I like their newest recordings, it's their rather involved live show that's not to be missed, where they playfully assault the audience while tearing through a set of noise punk, Ipod rap, weird instrumentals; basically everything people who think they have "taste" hate. Fuck Facts is a new band which includes Eat Avery's Bones bassist, Meggie Hilkert, and hopefully she'll be handling some of the vocals, since the one time I have ever heard her sing with her other group left the audience wishing she would do it more.(DL)
Black Heart Procession | The Mumlers | Seryn (Hailey's): One of the great things about going to college is meeting other people via band T-shirts. During my freshman year of university I believed this to be the best way to meet friends and influence people. One day in Government class I wore one of the many Sonic Youth t-shirts in my wardrobe. "Hey, nice shirt dude" I hear from behind me. I turn around with hushed anticipation. I could tell the questioner had the same idea as myself, only he was wearing a Black Heart Procession shirt. I being the honest person that I am regretfully told him that I had never heard of BHP. "Ah man I'll burn you a CD, it will speak to you" and then proceeded to lazily high five me. The next day he brought me a blank CD, letting me know it was a "best of mix" and that he had also included some tracks from his own band. Joy! With mind wide opened I put the CD in and approached the music but it all sounded like one long moody uninspired bummer fest. And of course I couldn't tell where this guy's band started and Black Heart Procession ended. All I know is that it couldn't end quick enough.
So why tell this story other than to inform you I am at least partially college educated and I befriend people based on musical preference? It is to drive home the point that they BHP are painfully bland. Let's take a sampling of song titles from their most recent release. "Drugs", "Rats", "Heaven and Hell" and "Suicide." Not very imaginative, are we? The music is somewhat reminiscent of The Birthday Party, but dropped into a vat of molasses. Where Cave and Co. were able to embrace the dark, demonic side of human nature and transform it into art, BHP seem only capable of isolating the darkness and crying about it.
I would like Black Heart Procession much more if they had no lyrics and/or singer. The music is moody and brooding without drifting off into the self indulgence that rock n' roll journal-keepers often do. But man those lyrics are lame. As I am sure most of you do, I consider myself a misanthrope and enjoy indulging in the cathartic art of fellow lonesome travellers. But you still gotta have some pizazz, which BHP have none of. The tried and true topics of depression, loneliness and death are all explored with the same boring syntax we have heard many times before in the annals of indie rock. Maybe if there were more personality, or personal resonance in the lyrics, it would work, but the broad brush strokes of destitution just don't resonate with me. They weren't even creative enough to name their first few albums. Or perhaps they were just ripping off the equally brooding but far superior Red House Painters. So what happened the next day in Government class? I wore an Of Montreal shirt and sat at the front of the class. (FP)
Hey everyone, Anticon's Why? will be playing at Hailey's this coming Monday, October 26th, and we have two pairs of tickets to give away to you. If you want to win them, please email firstname.lastname@example.org any time between now and Saturday at noon with "Why?" as the subject and your full name in the email body. We'll pick two winners at random. Good luck!
Lazy autumn dayz with Richardson Heights. Today I get someone else to do the work for me.
Gallery Grand Opening Jardine Studio Gallery 3810 West Northwest Highway, Dallas, Tx 75220 October 23 : 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Creepshow Kettle Art Gallery 2714 Elm Street, Dallas, Tx 75226 October 24 : 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Peter Barrickman's "New Work" in currently on view now through the first weekend of November at Centraltrak. We interviewed him about a year ago here. You can view a whole lot more of his paintings here.
Guest Review by Lady Tugboat NOTE: this was posted on 10/22/2009.
The twentieth century taught us well that Middle America could indeed be art. Abandoning the premise that fine art only arises in vast urban centers, we are left with scenes that leave the majority of us in comfortable territory. Peter Barrickman reminds us of the familiar in a brightly illuminated suburban world, enhanced by strong, direct color, definitive lines, and a scene or two close to home.
Peter Barrickman's collection currently on display in the main gallery at Centraltrak teeters between frenetic clutter and sparseness, all the while maintaining a sense of comedy and Mid-western purity. Rather than rejecting the provincial American culture that surrounds him in his home environment, Barrickman's paintings blend odd fabrics and paper cutouts of disparate subject matter with standard painting media to express the variety he observes in the suburban environment outside his studio.
Centraltrak's spacious main gallery allows you to absorb much of the plentiful visual information in one round glance. Upon entering, the first trio of paintings centered on the northwest corner subtly transports you from a bright sub-tropical exterior to a cozy winter interior. You are first greeted with a colorful breezy collection of hammocks hanging between trees in a sort of warm out-of-doors in the abstract piece entitled Kosmiter's Zweck. The next piece finds you looking up from below into an ambiguous windowed portal to an interior colored with throw pillow like blobs of color, perhaps a motel in a pastel Miami of recent history, but the title Loom betrays that notion. And then we then find ourselves firmly inside a space: in the very crowded interior of Lodger.
Lodger seems to be a companion to the claustrophobic Luggage that was featured in the And/Or Gallery show earlier this year: it employs an illogical use of perspective that makes the far wall of the room feel inches away from the surface of the canvas. Both of the pictured interior spaces act as a crowded archive of dreams, ideas, and possessions – they could be the storage spaces of any residence in America. In Lodger, any apprehension caused by the digitally challenged hand creeping in from the hallway is quelled by the humorously large socked feet basking in the steam of an antique iron teapot. At this point, you feel that you are in sitting back comfortably in an easy chair for an evening of unstructured knowledge assimilation: keeping yourself sane with the ideas printed upon hundreds of thousands of pieces of bound paper somewhere in the middle of Barrickman's America.
There is something invitingly strange emanating from this guy's brush. Barrickman, a Milwaukee-born artist with an MFA from Milton Avery in New York, is a former resident of the University of Texas Dallas' Centraltrak. In interviews he displays an unambiguous respect for his hometown and suburbia, he sees childhood dramas as performance art, and he uses technology – contemporary or relatively antiquated – to generate art. It is in fact a feeling of faked digital assemblage that you will find in the next piece, Big Nose, the first in a related series of four large abstract mixed media pieces all now within view as you progress through the room. This piece, along with Borrowing a Rake, Christmas in Data Entry, and the Untitled mixed-media collage, form the non-objective core of the exhibition. They all imitate what is possible in an era inundated and comfortable with Photoshop: precisely juxtaposed and resized sub-images and grids of pixels digitizing various planes parallel with the canvas surface. But this is betrayed by the true manual labor Barrickman employs in these large-scale pieces – edges are intentionally messy, sub-drawings are awkward and oddly arranged with a mix of variety and humor.
Borrowing a Rake depicts a ritual – a suburban fall tradition. The air conditioners are no longer necessary and all the neighbors emerge from their respective homes. Once again they need each other and cross the asphalt to borrow their neighbors' yard tools, just like in previous times: the community banding together to bring in the harvest. Barrickman's figures – which are enlarged reproductions of the figures in his smaller drawing entitled Tuesday, also in this exhibition – are obscured by disc-like leaves of various painted fabrics and wallpaper samples falling from sky. A shockingly denuded tree stands dead center in the canvas. A construction-paper chain hangs in the upper left corner. The “leaves” serve also as a pixilated filter; perhaps a filter for what is really going on inside this “television screen.” But presumably these leaves will be collected by the rake and put out with the trash.
Around the corner, you find one of the two truly figurative and seemingly straightforward pieces in the show. From afar, it appears to be an igloo village wherein an Eskimo is helping his fallen friend stand up in front of an uncomfortably close horizon. But upon closer inspection, it is simply a green-jacketed Midwesterner helping a fur-coated friend stand up, surrounded by two massive pumpkins. Additionally, the flesh of one of the pumpkins has been penetrated by a seemingly random collection of foreign objects including an apple, invoking Kafkaesque images of Gregor Samsa. Which interpretation is more odd? The title Comrade Cereal Breath does not help much, and we are left with only questions.
In the opposite corner is the companion piece that might provide some answers. It is titled Community Theatre and you see from a point of view behind actors on a stage looking out upon an audience, or possibly you are a stage hand looking out through a sea of poorly constructed stage props and background pieces. Blobs of color representing the anonymous audience uncomfortably spill onto the stage reinforcing the sense of “community” in this theater, whether or not you want to experience that community as an actor exposed on the stage. There is a dizzying forward movement in this piece that makes you feel you are being pulled toward the inevitable.
After the starkness of Christmas in Data Entry from the series of abstract pieces, you will find yourself warming back up in front of Mura, an intense large canvas that could be a hot corrugated tin roof in the sun shedding light in every direction. This reverts you back out into the exterior that you found upon entering the gallery, and neatly sums up the variety of experience Peter Barrickman's New Work expresses. The suburbs are not so monotonous after all.
Built To Spill | Dinosaur JR | Lou Barlow And The Missing Men | Disco Doom (The Granada) Dinosaur Jr. with Lou Barlow, is perfection. You're Living All Over Me and Bug are two of the most amazing records that came from the late 80's, and are remembered not necessarily because of instrumental proficiency or mind-blowing songwriting, but because of how they sonically embody the sheer coolness of the American underground at that particular time.
Whenever, wherever a Dinosaur Jr. song plays, there's this split second of anticipation, excitement, and a thought of "Fuck yeah, I'm going to enjoy the next two and a half minutes of being in this shitty bar, because 'In A Jar' is playing." All their songs take you to a teenage place, a slightly angry and very energetic confusing state where very few things matter except for having an odd kind of primal satisfaction that is often underrated. It feels like those days when you were waiting for the late bus in high school because you were too broke to get a car, messing around with your friends in the parking lot, listening to music doing nothing in particular, thinking about getting laid. Sometimes, that's just perfect happiness.
Built to Spill appeals to a different set of needs, with more of a calculated passion. Perfect From Now On and Keep It Like a Secret, wind down the 90's at the opposite end of the same aesthetic spectrum that Dinosaur JR inhabits. Where it seems that Dinosaur Jr. stumble into a fuzzy melodic mess of a great song, it sounds like Built to Spill recorded and produced their tracks a few hundred times over, in order to get everything right. As for the results: they are something worth returning to for the rest of your life. The sound is so north-west, so gusty-cold, slightly bare, but perfectly crafted.
With two bands that are so worth seeing live, I can't imagine this being bad. I wish Dinosaur Jr. wasn't "opening," but I guess this is Built to Spill's tour for their new album so it's their party. -(NM)
Lou Barlow (Good Records) Free in-store at 6 PM. I would actually like to make it to this since I'm not sure if I'm going to make it to The Granada, but I'm still interested in hearing Barlow's newest solo material, and that's something I haven't been interested in for a long time. I wonder if he finds the current "lo fi" debate amusing at all, considering he was a big reason the debate was so passionate the first time around, fifteen or more years ago, but definitely after he released Sebadoh'sWeed Forestin' in 1987. That record has aged rather well, all things considered, perhaps in part because many artists still embrace those techniques, but it's been a long time since I've heard any home studio sound on anything Barlow's done. I thought the newer songs on his Myspace page were better than expected, but I wonder why guys in their forties always have to come up with lame names for their backing groups when they do solo projects. The Missing Men? Come on, Lou. Just make up some more silly words, I know you still have it in you. -(DL)
Correction: I was just reminded by Drex who The Missing Men were. Ouch. Now, I actually want to go to this show. I'm an idiot. The Missing Men includes not only Mike Watt, but one of my favorite guitarists of all time, Tom Watson, who played in Slovenly, Overpass, and The Red Krayola. Again, I'm an idiot. (DL)
The Donnas | Max Cady | Peacemaker (Trees) This a benefit show for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I want to add that since almost every lineup tonight is making it feel like Nineteen Ninety Something in here, it's perfect that this show is at Trees. If you want to know a dirty secret, I actually saw The Donnas at The Galaxy Club in that very decade. Yikes. -(DL)
Dead Prez | RC Williams & The Gritz Band | Jay Clipp (Prophet Bar) Dead Prez seems to have at mellowed out considerably, at least in sound, if not in world view, judging by what I've heard on their most recent album, Pulse Of The People. Their newest music is no longer the harsh, minimal sound that they made their name on, and instead tracks are fleshed out with bigger production, lush instrumentation, and melodic backing vocals.
Their lyrical content is still socially conscious and aggravated, but stic.man and M-1 seem less interested in making the music as confrontational as the message at this point, which is bound to happen with any group that has been as intense as they have for as long as they have. Most of the record isn't as light as this track, entitled "Summertime," but it's a good example of how startlingly calm some of their more recent work can be. In any event, I would definitely take the opportunity to catch this show if you can, as it's not often that a hip hop act this highly regarded plays such a small venue in Dallas on a Wednesday night. I did a double take when I first saw the advertisement.
Decades With DJ Nodad (Rubber Gloves) DJ Nodad will be giving away free copies of Denton Deluxe Volume 5, ahead of its official release this weekend. The new edition will be available at Time Bandits on Saturday if you miss out tonight. Remember that Time Bandits has moved to 308 E. Oak St., just off the square in Denton.